Once upon a time there was a lonely, perfect princess waiting by the window for her flawless knight in shining armor…blah blah blah – are you kidding me? Who writes this crap?
Now, tell me about a smart lady forced to gray-matter her way out of a tricky situation, take on the establishment to fight for her rights, all while overcoming her own insecurities. Now you’ve got me. I’m hooked. Tell me more.
This image of perfection that we all put on every morning and wear throughout the day – what exactly is it for? Will love, happiness and good things only come to us in a flawless state? If trial and error is the only proven way to progress, wouldn’t a flawless state only exist where no progress is being made?
We revere the brave, like they are above fear. Yet bravery isn’t absence of fear. It’s the process of overcoming fear, and doing what you set out to do in spite of the fear. The same applies to everything we prize (fitness, money, beauty, wisdom, relationships) are all hard won through trial and error and a big bunch of fails. Putting in the work to get there gives us perspective to cherish and respect it once we have earned it.
Plus, when you show your flaws, it helps me not to feel so bad about mine. I remember one Christmas, showing up for bootcamp embarrassed that I’d gained a little weight from too many holiday treats. I asked my fit friend how she avoided the same temptation. She laughed and said: “I just ate an entire box of chocolates in 2 days that was supposed to be for my kids. I just do my best. I love chocolate”. My embarrassment melted away, and I cut myself some slack.
If I don’t know about your failures, how could I possibly understand your passions? If you don’t show me your scars, how will I fully celebrate your triumphs? If you don’t let me see your imperfections, how will I ever love who you really are? And if I only love some perfect version of you that doesn’t really exist, I don’t love the real you at all, because I never really knew you.
We all love the stories about famous people failing – Oprah being fired because “she’d never make it in television”, Stephen King, whose first novel, Carrie, was rejected 30 times before getting published, Henry Ford’s first automobile company going bankrupt – but why do we love them? Do we hate celebrities? Well, maybe some, but I think we love those stories just because they give us hope. They encourage us to keep trying when everything around us is telling us to quit, to stop trying so hard, to do something easier.
Join me in embracing our struggles and being open about our failures. Let’s encourage each other and build each other up. Failure means I was brave enough to try. Failure means I have a chance to learn. People who succeed are the greatest failures of all time!
What have you failed at lately? Share in the comments!